JetPack 4.1 Developer Preview – NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Developer Kit

JetPack 4.1 installs the operating system, libraries and SDKs on to the Jetson AGX Xavier Developer Kit. Looky here:

Background

With the early access shipments of the Jetson AGX Xavier, NVIDIA is providing the Developer Preview of the JetPack series. The current version is JetPack 4.1 Developer Preview, Early Access available from the JetPack web page. You can download earlier version of JetPack from that page also, along with versions for the other Jetson family members, the Jetson TX2, Jetson TX1, and in the archives for the now discontinued Jetson TK1.

The idea behind the Developer Preview Early Access is to give developers as much as a head start on building their products and applications as possible. As such, and especially with a new product with as rich of a computing environment as the Xavier, this release supports the most basic needs of developers. Some of the new hardware features (which there are many) are still works in progress, and do not have much support just yet.

With that said, you can count on several iterations of JetPack as new features come online. Plan your development accordingly, there will be times that you will need to regenerate your system from scratch.

Installation

For the most part, installation pretty easy. From an Ubuntu 16.04 or Ubuntu 18.04 PC 64 bit host computer, you simply download the JetPack software from the NVIDIA JetPack web page (you’ll have to sign in with your developer account to download JetPack) and follow the instructions in the setup guide. Watching the video above should cover most questions, should the need arise.

Note: NVIDIA supports running JetPack from a native Ubuntu installation. Many people have issues with using JetPack on VMs because of the way that USB enumerates during the flashing process.

There are a wide variety of tools which you can select to install on the PC side (called the Host) and the Jetson Xavier (called the Target). Use the Component Manager to select which libraries and SDKs you wish to install, on both the Host and the Target. In the video above, we select everything, because we want to play!

Installation from the demo host computer to the Jetson took about an hour fifteen all together, including all the downloads on a 30 MBs Internet link, flashing the Jetson, cross compiling the samples and then loading them onto the Jetson.

The one tricky bit in all of this is setting the Jetson into recovery mode. Follow the on-screen instructions to set the Jetson into recovery mode, open a Terminal, and then type:

$ lsusb

In the output you should see the Jetson Xavier listed as 0955:7019 Nvidia. If you don’t see the Jetson using lsusb, then the device will not be flashed. The video shows how to set the Xavier into Force Recovery Mode with no expensed spared state of the art video and computer graphics technology. That may be a slight exaggeration, but there is a bit about it in there, including an absolutely riveting dramatic recreation in closeup. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but most of all you’ll care.

Tools Available

JetPack 4.1 flashes the L4T 31.0.2 (an Ubuntu 18.04 variant) to the Jetson Xavier. Here are some of the JetPack release highlights:

  • L4T R31.0.2
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS aarch64
  • CUDA 10.0
  • cuDNN 7.3
  • TensorRT 5.0 RC
  • VisionWorks 1.6
  • OpenCV 3.3.1
  • Multimedia API

Developer Tools

  • CUDA Tools
  • NVIDIA Nsight Systems
  • NVIDIA Nsight Graphics

Conclusion

The first time through, setting up the system and flashing the Jetson can take around a little more than an hour or so depending on your download speeds and the speed of your PC. In the video, a simple cable modem 30MBs link was used for downloading. Downloading all of the Host and Target components only happens the first time you do an installation. Subsequent installations check for updates and if none are available, then simply flash the Jetson. This saves a lot of time.

It’s time to start developing!

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